Military service chiefs say they will not provide security on the 14th of February for the election poll if it is not postponed.
In a letter sent to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the military said soldiers will not be available to provide security anywhere in the country if it goes ahead with its plans to hold the presidential elections on Saturday next week because they are too busy with operations in the North east region.Daily Trust newspapers report that the letter was sent to INEC chairman Professor Attahiru Jega on Wednesday by the President’s National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki.
The NSA said he was “strongly advising” INEC to postpone the polls on the basis of a letter which he received from Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh.
Badeh’s letter to the NSA, which he said was agreed upon by all the service chiefs, indicated that the military had just launched a major effort with the collaboration of Chad, Cameroon and Niger Republic to rid the North East region of Boko Haram insurgents once and for all.
He said while the operation lasts, it will not be possible to hold elections in Adamawa, Yobe, Borno and Gombe states.
The CDS therefore advised the NSA to advise INEC to either defer elections in the four states or alternatively to postpone elections throughout the country for at least six weeks. He indicated that the military preferred the second option.Weekly Trust learnt that when the INEC chairman made his presentation at the Council of State meeting, he essentially said INEC was ready to go ahead with the polls as planned.
He however added that INEC had received a new security report which could change the equation but did not elaborate on it. Afterwards, the NSA briefed the council and restated the military brass’ call for an election postponement while the operation in the North East lasts.